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Miss Susan Stratton 

  • Overview
Position:PhD Archaeology

Academic History

MA European Neolithic (Distinction) from Cardiff University, 2009/10. Dissertation on the tell settlement of Berettyóújfalu-Herpály, Hungary.  AHRC funded.

BA Archaeology (1:1) from University of Bristol, 2007.

PhD Research

Working title: Burial and identity in the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age of south east Europe. (AHRC funded)

My thesis brings a theoretical approach to the study of burial practices in the Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age of south east Europe.  This period saw a dramatic change in the way communities buried their dead, moving  from the Early Neolithic practice of occasional burial in settlements (along with other practices not archaeologically identified), to burial in dedicated extramural  cemetery areas away from settlements in the Late Neolithic/Early Copper Age.  The adoption of this new funerary form indicates changing attitudes to the dead, social structure and, as seen in the increase in grave goods, expression of social identities.  To date this area has been under theorised, and has tended to be considered on a national rather than regional scale.
My thesis will use case studies of large scale cemeteries from across south-east Europe, treating east and west as two large sub-regions.  Use of ArcGIS and statistical techniques (eg. Correspondence analysis) will be made to find trends and connections in the developments of these cemeteries and the distribution of items or other factors that may express social identities.
Within this thesis I have also obtained funding through the AHRC-ORAU for a radiocarbon dating project of the Romanian cemetery of Cernica.  This project, in collaboration with Raluca Kogălniceanu from the Romanian Academy of Science has the potential to dramatically increase our understanding of the chronology of the region, currently poorly represented by absolute dates.
My research interests include the European Neolithic, the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition, archaeological theory, the archaeology of death, social memory, identity, and gender/sexuality.

Start date: October 2010
Supervisors: Dr. Dušan Borić and Prof. Alasdair Whittle


Stratton, S. and Borić, D. 2012. Gendered bodies and objects in a mortuary domain: Comparative analysis of Durankulak cemetery. In R. Kogălniceanu, R.-G. Curcă, M. Gligor and S. Stratton (eds), Homines, funera, astra: Proceedings of the International symposium on funerary anthropology. 5-8 June 2011, ‘1 Decembrie 1918’ University (Alba Iulia, Romania), 71-79. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Meadows, I. and Stratton, S. 2010. Archaeological watching brief at Canonry Cottage, 14B Minster Precincts, Peterborough, February-July 2009. Northamptonshire Archaeology, Report 10/38.

Stratton, S. 2008. Archaeological evaluation of land at 20A West Street, Olney, Milton Keynes, October 2008. Northamptonshire Archaeology, Report 08/179.


September 2014 - ‘Seek, and ye shall find.’  The creation of binary gender identities in the prehistory of south-east Europe through sexual division in the study of burial practices. European Association of Archaeologists 20th Annual Meeting, Istanbul.

September 2014 - The earliest Neolithic cemetery in SE Europe? Provisional results of AMS dating  Cernica, Romania (with Seren Griffiths, Raluca Kogălniceanu, Angela Simalcsik, Cristian-Eduard Ştefan, Valentin Dumitraşcu, Alexandru Morintz, Tom Higham, Dušan Borić and Alasdair Whittle). Homines, funera, astra: 4th International symposium on funerary anthropology, Alba Iulia, Romania.

November 2014 - Identities on display: Material culture, the body and the presentation of roles in funerary practice. Neolithic bodies, Neolithic Studies Group meeting, British Museum, London.

September 2012 - Binary gender categories in south-east Europe Late Neolithic and Early Copper Age cemeteries?  A case study from Durankulak. European Association of Archaeologists 18th Annual Meeting, Helsinki.

June 2011 - Gendered bodies and objects in a mortuary domain: Comparative analysis of Durankulak cemetery.  Homines, funera, astra:  International symposium on funerary anthropology, Alba Iulia, Romania.


I am currently a seminar leader on Deep Histories ( 1st year module), and demonstrator in Analysing Archaeology ( 1st year module), Discovering Archaeology ( 1st year module), and Archaeological Illustration ( 2nd/3rd year module).
I have previously been a seminar leader on the British Prehistory, Human Origins, Post-Roman and Medieval Britain, and Great Discoveries 1st year modules, and a demonstrator in Archaeological Skills, and Environment and Economy.

I have also supervised Cardiff University training excavations in Serbia (Danube Gorges 2013, Oreskovica tell site 2014) and Britian (Caerau 2014).

Additional information

I have been involved in research excavations in Britain and south-east Europe, including excavations at Avebury (2007), the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2007-2009), Polgár-Bosnyákdomb tell site, Hungary (2011), Iepureşti tell settlement, Romania (2012), and Vrbička Cave, Montenegro (2012).